First session of the tramway connection monitoring committee is held

The committee's objective is to share the studies with the main stakeholders involved and to listen to their opinions on the future of the tramway connection. The committee is made up of local-resident and traders associations, mobility organisations, professional associations and universities.

The first meeting of the monitoring committee on the city’s tramway connection between Glòries and Francesc Macià was held on 24 July, in order to present the preliminary study on the Barcelona tram connection.

The meeting was attended by Janet Sanz, the Deputy Mayor for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility, and Mercedes Vidal, the Councillor for Mobility.

Pere Macias and Oriol Altisench, the project’s technical managers, presented the preliminary study, with a general summary of all four alternatives analysed, with each one being treated in the same depth and with the same rigour.

The chosen project, Alternative 1, features a surface tramway connection along Diagonal with a reserved platform and without any overhead contact system. The subsequent debate focused on this project.

Everything points to this being the best alternative in technical terms, including social, environmental and urban-planning considerations, according to a cost-benefit analysis and a more qualitative multi-criteria analysis.

Another major point of discussion was sustainable mobility and the need for a change in the city’s urban model, so that Barcelona can become a healthier and more equitable city.

According to Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz, who opened, moderated and closed the session, mitigating and being prepared for climate change and reducing atmospheric and noise pollution in our city is no longer simply an option, but a moral obligation to the city’s residents.

For this reason, the City Council is trying to reach a political consensus for the tramway connection option that is the most beneficial to everyone, according to the studies undertaken.

Pere Macias supported the idea that a balanced public transport system which provides a service for the majority of people cannot be created without taking into account neighbourhood buses, trams, the metro and trains. Therefore tramways are an integral part of a system that they enhance and complement. Trams do not eradicate buses, but rather replace them in a section of the city where trams are the best alternative, displacing buses to other areas of the city where they are more efficient. Everything is part of the same system; no means of transport functions in isolation.

This first public session also focused on the importance of reducing the number of private vehicles used in the city. This is a major concern for city residents, according to the latest municipal survey, given that motorised traffic is directly related to high levels of atmospheric and noise pollution, contributes to climate change and occupies too much public space, which should be recovered for the use of city residents.

Public monitoring meetings will be held every three months, running in parallel with political committees on the tramway connection project, depending on the amount of new information that must be conveyed to the members of this public committee, including the executive project or new studies.

Public Involvement

The creation of the Monitoring Committee is one more step in the overall process of active listening, which the municipal government has been running for over a year.

The monitoring committee’s objective is to share with its members the main criteria making up the municipal proposal for connecting the two tramways, as well as listening to and debating matters concerning the monitoring of the preliminary studies and the executive project at both a territorial and city and metropolitan level.

This process also aims to open up a two-way communication channel between the authorities and project stakeholders, to facilitate the exchange of information and the reception of proposals and recommendations during the project’s preparation and development.

The Monitoring Committee is currently made up of the following members:

Residents and traders associations: FAVB, Sant Gervasi Sud, Sant Gervasi – Galvany, Josep Tarradellas, Turó Parc, Les Corts, Pedralbes, Maternitat i Sant Ramon, Fort Pienc, Sagrada Família, Passeig de Sant Joan, Dreta l’Eixample, Sant Antoni, Vila de Gràcia, l’Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample, Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample, Poblenou, Parc i la Llacuna, Clot – Camp de l’Arpa, Diagonal Mar i Front Marítim, Vila Olímpica, Besòs-Maresme, Fundació Barcelona Comerç, Barcelona Oberta, Associació Diagonal Barcelona, Cor Eixample, Amics del Passeig de Gràcia, Comerciants Avinguda Tarradellas, Consell de Gremis de Comerç, Serveis i Turisme, PIMEC and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.

Mobility bodies: Coordinadora Catalana d’Usuaris de la Bicicleta, BACC, PTP, Plataforma de la Qualitat de l’Aire, RACC, P(A)T, Stop Accidents, Barcelona Camina, Institut Municipal de Discapacitat.

Professional associations: Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), Col·legi d’Aparelladors, Arquitectes Tècnics i Enginyers d’Edificació de Barcelona (CAATEEB), Col·legi d’Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya (EIC), Col·legi d’Enginyers Tècnics Industrials de Barcelona (EBCN), Col·legi d’Enginyers de Camins, Canals i Ports (camins.cat), Col·legi d’Ambientòlegs de Catalunya (COAMB), Col·legi d’Enginyers Tècnics d’Obres Públiques de Catalunya(CETOP), Col·legi d’Economistes de Catalunya.

Universities: UPF (Poblenou and Ciutadella campus), UPC (Nord and Besòs campus) and UB (Diagonal and Poblenou).

Active listening process

During this term of office, the municipal government has promoted an active-listening process, in order to find out the views of city residents concerning the tramway-connection project.

This process aims to share the main criteria concerning the municipal proposal for connecting the tramways with the project stakeholders, and to find out their views, before and during the entire technical process, highlighting the municipal government’s willingness to listen to all parties concerned with the project.

The following actions concerning the tramway-connection project have already been undertaken:

– Preparation of a study on the proposals and stances of the various stakeholders involved, regarding the tramway-connection project between 2008 and 2015. This study has been useful in defining a map of stakeholders associated with the project and for systemising their contributions and stances in recent years, as well as for planning the most wide-ranging and inclusive active-listening process possible.

– Collection and analysis of proposals for connecting the tramways and the necessary alterations to Avda Diagonal, carried out during the PAM (Municipal Action Plan) participation process on the decidim.barcelona platform.

– Calling a meeting of the Mobility Agreement members, in order to present and debate the monographic studies commissioned by the City Council concerning the tramway-connection project.

– Producing a report on the stances and views of all stakeholders and key players. This was drawn up in June and July 2016, based on seven thematic interviews or focus groups, in which specific views on the initial municipal studies and proposals were received from: the supporters of public transport and defenders of air quality, city cyclists, pedestrians and people with reduced mobility, people who use private vehicles, professional associations, local-resident organisations and the city’s commerce and services sector.

– Participation in various informative sessions, promoted and organised by sector organisations and local-resident associations affected by the project. These sessions focused on providing information about the content of technical studies for connecting the tramway network.

Participants in the informative sessions included: the Comissions Obreres trade union delegates for transport and railway construction-material companies (28 September 2016); the neighbourhoods of Fort Pienc and Sagrada Família (14 December 2016); Esquerra de l’Eixample and Sant Antoni (14 March 2017); Clot and Camp de l’Arpa (10 May 2017); Poblenou, Diagonal Mar and Front Marítim (14 June 2017); along with various professional associations (Industrial Engineers; Road, Canal and Port Engineers; and Architects, on 12 January, 19 July and 26 July respectively).

The active-listening process will also be open to the neighbourhoods directly affected by the project through neighbourhood council meetings.